#CUPE2017 – What happened at CUPE’s national convention in Toronto?

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CUPE’s 2017 National Convention took place in Toronto from October 2-6, 2017. National Convention is the highest decision-making body of CUPE and it meets every two years to elect national officers, debate issues, and democratically decide the direction of the union.

Airline Transportation Meeting

This year, delegates at the Airline Transportation meeting, representing 11,500 members across Canada, celebrated CUPE Local 4059, the groups’s newest local representing flight attendants at Air Georgian. They also adopted resolutions and promoted its campaigns on numerous issues important to Flight Attendants. These included the ongoing campaign to restore the safer 1-to-40 ratio and dealing with issues of fatigue, toxic fumes affecting onboard air quality, and how Bill C-27, if adopted, will erode the defined benefit pension plans. The Division also discussed amendments to its own structure to free-up resources to support new airline locals and organizing in the sector. Read more about it here!

National Convention

This year, CUPE’s convention included over 2,000 local union delegates from across the country. Together, they debated and voted on a record 45 resolutions – many that may be of direct interest to airline sector workers.

Delegates also shared their ideas and input on Strategic Directions, CUPE’s general political bargaining plan for the next two years.

The plan sets out how we will make gains in our workplaces and communities, fight racism and discrimination in all its forms, defend public services, and advocate for a better country and world. Click here to read Strategic Directions, debated and passed at Convention.

Resolution highlights:

  • Resolution No. 146: CUPE National will promote education and raise awareness of health and safety hazards of shiftwork. The materials will suggest ways of coping with shiftwork, organizational or group approaches to redesigning the work schedule, and fair redistribution of workload.
  • Resolution No. 143: CUPE National will create a toolkit on the topic of sexual violence at work (similar to the domestic violence bargaining tool kit) to include language to bargain on the topic, training on the continuum of sexual violence, general education about the topic. This will include resources to support Stewards and union members in their support of others.
  • Resolution No. 253: CUPE National will lobby the federal government to establish domestic violence leave in federal legislation. And assist other CUPE divisions in lobbying other provincial governments to establish this leave in other provinces.
  • Resolution No. 126: CUPE National will promote a multi sector campaign that will inform members about the importance of reporting incidents, accidents and near misses.
  • Resolution No. 208: CUPE National will raise awareness of issues and establish educational tools and services around LGBTTI older persons and seniors in Canada, work with Égale Canada’s National LGBTlQ2S Senior Consultation, and work with CUPE healthcare locals across Canada to promote LGBTTI awareness/sensitivity amongst health care workers in Canada.

Delegates approved a resolution to begin pay for eligible members of striking locals on the first day of a strike, instead of the fifth, as is currently the case. This move will strengthen the position of locals who encounter obstinate and unreasonable demands from employers at the bargaining table. This change to strike pay is effective immediately.

Coupled with the union’s renewed bargaining policy, which rejects all attempts by employers to force concessions and two-tier proposals on workers, we now have a full set of tools to take on bargaining in a climate of aggressive austerity.

Several resolutions also addressed privatization of our infrastructure and health services. These resolutions have mandated CUPE to oppose privatization of airports and other infrastructure and support the establishment of a national pharmacare program. A full list of resolutions is available on the CUPE website.